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Old 09-27-2018, 05:20 AM   #141
JWA
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Certainly you'll know best for your situation---good progress from nothing at all though!

If the batteries stayed mostly in place as-is it might not be as big an issue as I seemed to make it. Things like this scare me, having not taken care of them long before they did become an issue.

Have you discovered or experienced any other repairable issues after a few shake-down runs in those same bumpy areas?
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:03 AM   #142
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The only other issue I have encountered, and just noticed last night while working on the pop top, was that my fiberglass shell has shifted in the front a little bit. On one of my trips i parked on what I thought would be reasonably level and popped the top to get the bed set up. After a couple of hours i decided to re-position the van to get it more level, but I think the top shifted just a bit while raised on unlevel ground.

Now when I pull the top down the passenger side lands outside of the gutter and I have to do a manual adjustment where as before it came down inside the gutter. Not hard to fix but will be time consuming.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:45 AM   #143
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I finished another small project on the van inspired by boywonder and this thread:

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...gs-1084-9.html

I added two solar panels and a roof cargo box to my PH top and after adjusting the springs I was still having a hard time lifting it. Conveniently around that time boywonder posted in the thread linked above about using gas springs as "helper" springs to lift the top. I also didn't realize that most manual tops have helper springs at all.

I didn't quite get as fancy and sophisticated as boywonder did with his triple spring setup, and opted for just a single one. McMaster parts listed below:

9416K22 - 50lb gas spring, 28" extended length, 15.2" compressed length
6465K63 - Eyelet end fitting for gas springs, M8
9416K29 - Heavy duty mounting bracket for gas springs

The length of the spring fit perfectly so I could mount the bracket in the rail channel at the very back and have it fully extended when the top was up. The travel allows the gas spring to get just shy of full compression when it is closed as well.

I drilled two holes and used 1/4-20 bolts to mount the brackets in the channels and then attached the gas spring to the bracket using the threaded eyelet fitting. I then fed the 1/4-20 bolt that attached the lifting bar to the current spring mechanism through the eyelet on the distal end of the gas spring. I used rachet straps to de-tension the springs and 2x4s to hold up the pop top while I did the install.

The difference is significant, and I can now lift the top up by myself. I initially bought and installed 150lb springs with the same dimensions and they were far too stiff. The top was stuck popped for a few nights until the lighter springs arrived haha. As I add weight to the top now though I can increase the gas springs which come in increments of 25lbs. Also, now that the threaded eyelets are attached to the U-bar bolts the swap out is pretty straight forward.

Thanks for the inspiration boywonder!
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:23 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenJJ View Post
I finished another small project on the van inspired by boywonder and this thread:

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...gs-1084-9.html

I added two solar panels and a roof cargo box to my PH top and after adjusting the springs I was still having a hard time lifting it. Conveniently around that time boywonder posted in the thread linked above about using gas springs as "helper" springs to lift the top. I also didn't realize that most manual tops have helper springs at all.

I didn't quite get as fancy and sophisticated as boywonder did with his triple spring setup, and opted for just a single one. McMaster parts listed below:

9416K22 - 50lb gas spring, 28" extended length, 15.2" compressed length
6465K63 - Eyelet end fitting for gas springs, M8
9416K29 - Heavy duty mounting bracket for gas springs

The length of the spring fit perfectly so I could mount the bracket in the rail channel at the very back and have it fully extended when the top was up. The travel allows the gas spring to get just shy of full compression when it is closed as well.

I drilled two holes and used 1/4-20 bolts to mount the brackets in the channels and then attached the gas spring to the bracket using the threaded eyelet fitting. I then fed the 1/4-20 bolt that attached the lifting bar to the current spring mechanism through the eyelet on the distal end of the gas spring. I used rachet straps to de-tension the springs and 2x4s to hold up the pop top while I did the install.

The difference is significant, and I can now lift the top up by myself. I initially bought and installed 150lb springs with the same dimensions and they were far too stiff. The top was stuck popped for a few nights until the lighter springs arrived haha. As I add weight to the top now though I can increase the gas springs which come in increments of 25lbs. Also, now that the threaded eyelets are attached to the U-bar bolts the swap out is pretty straight forward.

Thanks for the inspiration boywonder!

Sweet! Glad to have stumbled up this before doing more with my top. Any idea how these gas springs might compare to the helper springs?

Also, do you recall what size bolts and turnbuckle you used on the chain? That was a brilliant idea for sure!

Lastly, is there a reason the chain has to be on that side of the U bar? It seems like it could possibly slide a little easier if the chain was directly next to the slider washer things.
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